(Alliance News) - Ryanair Holdings PLC said Thursday it will cut its capacity for October beyond the reduction already announced in mid-August.
The Irish low-cost carrier said that it will slash its October capacity by 20%, on top of the 20% cut that was announced earlier.
The capacity reduction was blamed on the damage caused to forward bookings by changes in EU government travel restrictions and policies, most of which Ryanair considers being introduced at short notice, undermining the willingness to make forward bookings.
Looking ahead, Ryanair said it now expects its capacity for October to fall to 40% of levels seen the same month the year before from 50%, but it still expects to maintain a load factor of more than 70%.
Ryanair argued that in some countries - meaning the UK and Ireland - where "excessive and defective" travel restrictions have been in place since July 1, Covid-19 rates have risen in recent weeks to 50 per 100,000, more than Germany or Italy, where intra-EU air travel has been freely allowed.
"We are disappointed to reduce our October capacity from 50% of 2019 to 40%. However, as customer confidence is damaged by government mismanagement of Covid travel policies, many Ryanair customers are unable to travel for business or urgent family reasons without being subjected to defective 14 day quarantines," Ryanair complained.
"While it is too early yet to make final decisions on our winter schedule (from Nov to Mar), if current trends and EU governments' mismanagement of the return of air travel and normal economic activity continue, then similar capacity cuts may be required across the winter period," the airline added.
Shares in Ryanair were down 4.1% at EUR12.05 on Friday in London.
By Dayo Laniyan; email@example.com
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